This year the Society for Socialist Studies meets on Treaty Four territory and the homeland of the Métis. Regina is where the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation penned its 1932 Regina Manifesto, which laid out a program for eradicating capitalism and replacing it with a planned socialist economy. It is also the site of the 1935 riot, which resulted when homeless and unemployed men demanding dignified work by trekking across Canada to Ottawa were stopped and attacked by the RCMP and city police. The symbolism associated with the Regina location of this meeting gives us a chance to re-evaluate the past and present of socialisms. In this moment of severe austerity in Saskatchewan and elsewhere, we are in desperate need for new and rekindled visions of just socialist futures.
This year we invite papers inspired by broad socialist traditions including anti-racist, feminist, eco-socialist, and anti-colonial, and we encourage conversations between socialisms and other freedom struggles, including Indigenous and Black liberation struggles, among others. We especially encourage papers that look at the successes and failures of past and present socialisms, from the CCF's slide toward social democracy to the current enthusiasm for democratic socialism in the US and UK. We invite critical reflections on what has been left out of socialist visions and how we might put social movements, ecology, decolonization, and opposition to all forms of oppression squarely at the centre of our rekindled socialist movements, theorizing, and praxis.
The Society for Socialist Studies is an explicitly socialist network that encourages contributions from other emancipatory struggles including feminism, anti-racism, Indigenous, LGBT2Q and ecological struggles. As an interdisciplinary society, we welcome papers from across the humanities and social sciences. Our plenary will include many different voices speaking on the topic of manifestos, from the Regina Manifesto to the Idle No More Manifesto.
Emily Eaton, University of Regina
Margot Hurlbert, University of Regina